This is a subject on which I – with my simple 2012 MacBook Pro – admittedly do not have full speech, but I would venture to say that Touch Bar of Apple’s latest notebooks is far from a resounding success. Of course, of course, some actions must be carried out by means of the shiny strip (no wonder, considering that it replaced a row of important function keys), but I believe that Apple’s original vision of making that invention a revolutionary new way of interacting with the computer , did not stick.
The main complaint of the owners of MacBooks Pro with Touch Bar is that the very conception of the functioning and the features of the bar makes it not particularly useful or attractive – in other words, many of the functions performed by it can be done with a higher level of control or even more easily by keyboard shortcuts or with the mouse pointer. Now, an intrepid developer decided to face the problem face-to-face and create his own solution.
The work of the developer vas3k it is based on BetterTouchTool (a utility that started as a “personalizer” of MacBook trackpad gestures – very useful, by the way – and added a new Touch Bar customization tool some time ago) and basically consists of a reinvention of possibilities the bar so that it adapts to what he (and, I believe, many other users) expects from the tool.
From left to right, the “new” Touch Bar from vas3k starts with an Esc key (required) and a button to return to the traditional bar layout, if desired. Next, we have a button that opens a Finder window wherever you are (even if there is already another window open elsewhere) and two buttons for programs frequently used by the developer, Sublime Text and Notes – but you can customize these shortcuts, of course.
Following the interface, we have a music board that shows the track currently playing, either on iTunes or Spotify – according to vas3k, the feature is more useful than the playback bar on the standard Touch Bar interface, especially when you are on a list random discovering new songs; when you touch the frame, you move to the next track. On the right, a flexible frame shows your most urgent reminder or the title of the currently playing YouTube video.
The following is a small numerical record of the temperature in your location and a conspicuous coffee cup icon, appropriately named “Coffee Break” (coffee break). Its function is the same as that of the deceased – at least in models with Touch Bar – MacBooks on / off button: lock the computer and turn off the screen – the idea, however, is to be able to do this as quickly as possible in the office in the aforementioned coffee break.
Continuing, we have two volume buttons – according to the developer, much easier to use than the slider button on the standard interface – and a smart play / pause button, which reverses the behavior introduced in macOS High Sierra (which makes the key work with any audio and video content) and make it work again only with Spotify or iTunes – if none of the programs are open, Spotify is automatically started.
Finally, we have a simple clock, which, according to vas3k, has two functions: to create a “dead” area in the space where we touch most often, to avoid unwanted actions, and to allow users to see the clock always, even with applications running on full screen.
The presets created by the developer can be downloaded from this GitHub link and, to make them work, just have BetterTouchTool installed and, in the program preferences, click on Manage Presets »Import to import the file. In “General Touch Bar Settings”, you must deselect the option “Show macOS Control Strip” to replace the traditional Touch Bar completely; the additional JSON Helper and Location Helper for AppleScript must be installed to make the weather board work.
With the success of the initiative, other users started to share their own presets in a GitHub repository created by vas3k itself – and there, believe me, imagination is the limit for customizing your Touch Bar. It is worth exploring if you are dissatisfied with the current state of the bar! ?
Cash price: from R $ 8,819.10Installed price: up to 12x R $ 816.58Launch: mid 2017